All posts by bheavey

2022 Mid-Year Update

It’s been a busy year with many customer deliveries on the books, here are a few highlights:

1. FPGA-based digital transceiver for the Water Sounding Short-Range Radar (WASSR) program, delivered in January 2022 (and pictured below) // Program PI: Ken Cooper

2. Firmware, software and an on-site demo of an FPGA-based proof-of-concept digital backend system in support of the Continuity Microwave Limb Sounder (CMLS) program, delivered in July 2022 // Program PI: Nathaniel Livesey

3. Test planning, test automation and data processing for RF hardware requirement verification in support of the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface
(REASON) instrument, delivered in January 2022 // Technical PoC: Harry Figueroa

4. Firmware for an FPGA-based digital receiver to enhance StormQuant‘s ground-based weather radar offerings, delivered in May 2022 // Technical PoC: Bradley Isom

And there are many more exciting deliveries on the horizon… it’s a big year here at WSR!

Contract Award: JPL CIMR/CRISTAL Programs

June 22, 2022 – Wide Swath Research was awarded a contract by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to design an engineering model (EM) for the Spectrometer Digital Backend (DBE) suitable for both Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) and Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) programs.

Below are links with details on each program:

Once again, we’re very excited to be contributing to such important science!

FPGA-Based Digital Subsystem & Multi-Channel Transceiver

The Job: Wide Swath Research, LLC was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and deliver a digital subsystem for the Gas and Ice Spectrometer Radar (GAISR) program led by Dr. Ken Cooper of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  This 10 month contract included hardware, firmware and software development.

This was a custom development from the ground up, created to the specifications provided by JPL and optimized to minimize package footprint and power consumption, to use parts compatible with the demands for a future space flight revision and to accommodate their pre-existing digital signal processing payload.


The digital subsystem is an FPGA-based, multi-channel data conversion and processing unit controlled via PC.  The hardware block diagram and picture of the final delivery is shown below.

Digital Subsystem Block Diagram
Digital Subsytem


The firmware interfaced with the desktop software and controlled all onboard hardware including: arbitrary waveform transmission, buffering ADC data, high speed ethernet communication and user defined general purpose i/o.  All hooks were provided for the customer to plug their DSP payload. A high level block diagram of the firmware is provided below.

Firmware Block Diagram


The software was a cross platform suite of tools for digital subsystem control, real time data recording and a heads up display of recorded data.  The software also provided a scripting engine for repeatability of complex configurations.

Screenshot of Desktop Software

Select Publications Featuring the GAISR Program

FPGA-Based Phased Array Controller

The Job: Wide Swath Research, LLC was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and deliver a digital subsystem for the 3CPR cloud precipitation radar program led by Dr. Mauricio Sanchez of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


This FPGA-based subsystem provided timing, control and power to Ku-band phased array modules, collected telemetry and was designed to interface with the customer’s legacy desktop control system.

Digital Subsystem


The firmware facilitated beam table loading as well as command and control via desktop software to precisely configure and control the customer’s phased array modules.

Firmware Block Diagram
Timing Example

Select Publications Featuring the 3CPR Program

Pulse Fitness – SoC Board

Job: Board design of an operator console for exercise equipment designed around a system-on-chip (SoC) component with microprocessor and numerous audio and video capabilities. This job required interfacing the SoC with various onboard, high-speed components and the design of a power subsystem.  Final delivery included: schematics, Gerber layout files for pcb fabrication and bill-of-materials for final board population.

Customer Feedback: “Very competent, competitive bid, delivered what was required on time to a high standard and without any fuss. Generally a great guy to work with.”

AngioDynamics Concept

Job: AngioDynamics contracted Wide Swath Research, LLC to design an FPGA-based, micro controller equipped board to as a part of an ongoing medical device program they were pursuing.

Customer Feedback: Brandon is a true professional–and I am 100% happy with his work–and I look forward to doing further business with him! Thank you, Brandon, for your excellent work!!”

Lodex Transceiver

The Job:  Lodex Engineering contracted Wide Swath Research, LLC to develop a software defined transceiver for their new state-of-the-art, multi-channel radar system employing advanced onboard processing.  The contract included system design, geophysical modeling, hardware design, firmware design and system engineering support.

The deliverables:  board schematics, pcb layout files, tested / verified hardware, FPGA firmware and Matlab code for data analysis and geophysical modeling.

Customer Feedback: “We cannot thank you enough for the excellent job you did with the T/R’s. It is without question your high-caliber expertise that led to the successful and timely development of our system. We were incredibly fortunate to have you be a part of our team and are eager to approach you again for our next project.

Besides your impressive work, you were a pleasure to work with.  Getting the T/R up and running with unprecedented efficiency and without ‘show stoppers’ further demonstrated your outstanding work.

Our sincerest thanks for what you provided us and we look forward to working with you again soon.”